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IN BRIEF WAR / WITH IRAQ / TURKEY

Iraqis Stole Food Aid, Freed Truck Drivers Say

March 30, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

Turkish truck drivers said Iraqi troops had seized at gunpoint 300 tons of food aid they were carrying through northern Iraq and held them prisoner for 10 days.

The drivers said their convoy of 19 trucks drove from Turkey into Iraq on March 16 to deliver food to the Turkmen minority in the Kurdish-controlled Iraqi town of Sulaymaniyah.

Iraqi troops stopped the convoy on a road close to the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, still under their control. The drivers were released Wednesday.

Turkey's southern border has served as a major staging post for food and medical aid to Iraq under a U.N. program.

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